Well this is it. Honestly it doesn't seem real that all of this is coming to a close. I feel like I’ve been a missionary my whole life, haha. Man, how can someone possibly describe or summarize two of the hardest and happiest years of their life? I don’t think it will ever be possible to adequately express all of what I’ve learned and felt on the mission. I don’t think the keys on this computer could produce words, sentences, or symbols that would describe the love I have for my mission. I don’t want to imagine my life had I not chosen to serve. It wasn't exactly what I imagined it would be like, I don’t think it is for any missionary that goes out into the field. But everything that I’ve experienced, every hard thing that I’ve had to conquer, every person that I met, every area I was transferred to, it was all a part of His plan and what He had intended for me to fulfill.
The mission has meant everything to me. I was thinking about how truly important my calling is. How truly crucial and indispensable it really is. You can’t even begin to know or imagine how many lives you will touch and how people’s lives will be effected for good down the road because of your efforts. If it weren’t for missionaries just like me, my father would not have joined the church 17 years ago. If he wouldn’t have joined the church when I was a young boy, I would not have grown up within the gospel and it would have been exceedingly harder than it already was for me to have made the decision to serve a mission. Honestly I probably would not have gone. And it can be traced back to two young men in their early 20s with the same first name "Elder", who decided to serve the Lord, not really knowing what they were getting themselves into, but followed the spirit, worked hard, and did what the Lord led them to do, whatever it may have been. Little did they know that it would have an effect on me and in turn every single person I have ever met on my mission? Do you see the importance?
There is that thing in life that we are all searching for. There is a void that we are all trying to fill. A desire to be satisfied. So we go out trying to find what it is. Whether it be the need for more friends, material things, a job position, something, whatever it may be. So we go out trying to find it, but we still have this hollow feeling and a need that still needs satisfied. That thing that we are all searching for, that void that needs to filled that we as human beings all long for, is The Gospel. Nothing else in this world or this life will compare, it just simply will not. You can spend a life time buying and doing temporal things to try and find it or satisfy that need, but you will be discouraged time and time again.
And what if it’s all true? What if everything that you have heard and done your whole life is really true? Do you understand what that means? It means eternal families, its means the Priesthood has been restored, it means Christ's church is upon the earth, its means so many glorious things that we cannot even begin to imagine or wrap our minds around as mortals. And that gives me enough initiative and drive for me to keep going. To keep learning, to keep searching, to keep progressing, to keep serving, to keep spreading the gospel, and to stay firm and forever steadfast in the things that I believe. There is too much to lose. I hope that I never lose sight of what I’ve learned here in Carlsbad. It has changed me forever, and I’m not looking back.
2 Tim 4:6-7".The time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith."
I love you all, can’t wait to see you on Wednesday!
-Elder Jon Daniel
-It’s been real Carlsbad